ALL NEWS

Utah may shift COVID-19 plan to focus on elderly, minority communities

May 20, 2020, 6:24 AM | Updated: 6:27 am
Utah COVID-19 poll coronavirus management...
FILE - In this April 21, 2020 file photo Utah Gov. Gary Herbert speaks during a news conference in South Jordan, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer,File)
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer,File)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Leads Together Plan has been the roadmap for how the state fights the COVID-19 pandemic. But Utah’s focus may soon shift from designating “yellow” or “orange” risk areas to helping people most at-risk for getting a bad case of the virus.  

The state wants to “triage” or sort the risk between those who are more or less likely to be affected by COVID-19.

Natalie Gochnour from the University of Utah gave a sneak preview of the Utah Leads Together 3.0 plan to the Salt Lake Chamber on Tuesday. 

Though the plan has not been finalized yet, it would have guidelines for nursing facilities and businesses to help them protect at-risk people, as well as for people living with an at-risk person. 

Utah COVID-19 numbers

Gochnour said the Utah numbers show COVID-19 is affecting some groups more than others. 

“Seventy percent [70%] of those who’ve passed away are 65 years and older. Very sobering number. 90% plus of those who’ve passed away are 65 years and older and have other medical conditions,” Gochnour said. 

Natalie Gochnour Screenshot

They also want to protect those with underlying conditions. For example, people with diabetes are 250% more likely to end up in the hospital if they get COVID-19. 

Some of the proposed guidelines would require increased tracing and COVID-19 testing in nursing homes, and requiring people to wear face masks at businesses as well. 

It’s unclear if the state will keep classifying cities and counties as “orange” or “yellow” risk levels in the new plan. 

Aside from the greater risk COVID-19 poses to certain populations, Gochnour said the societal cost to those who do not have the disease has been great. 

“The impacts of COVID-19 go well beyond case counts, well beyond hospitalizations. In fact, it affects housing, food security, and healthy behaviors. Just for example, we’re concerned that people aren’t getting the preventative [medical] care that they need,” Gochnour said. 

Planners feel confident about changing the focus to the guidelines because Utah is meeting its transmission rate targets, the hospital intensive care units are not overwhelmed, and most people are getting the disease from someone they know, so community spread is low.

Economic recovery

The other two major parts of the plan would be to address the impacts of COVID-19 on multicultural communities and plant the seeds for an economic recovery. 

Governor Gary Herbert also took part in the virtual meeting and addressed Utah’s road to economic recovery. 

He did not want to downplay the seriousness of COVID-19, but he also feels Utah’s economy will start to rebound by the end of the summer as people get back to work. 

The governor also acknowledged that Utahns are still feeling anxious about their economic situation.

“We have polling [that] at least the majority of people in Utah now are more concerned about their loss of income and their livelihood than they are about getting sick,” Herbert said.    

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Atlanta Police Officers watch as protesters march during a rally against the fatal police assault o...
Nouran Salahieh, CNN

Protesters across the US decry police brutality after Tyre Nichols’ death

Protesters took to the streets to decry police brutality after the release of video depicting the violent beating that led to the death of Tyre Nichols.
13 hours ago
A hiring sign is displayed in the window of a Panera Bread store in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 23, ...
Paul R. La Monica, CNN

Jobs report to give further clues about where economy is headed

Economists predict that 185,000 jobs were added last month, a slowdown from the gain of 223,000 jobs in December and 263,000 in November.
13 hours ago
One person is dead following a three vehicle crash in Sanpete County around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Ja...
Waverly Golden

Three vehicle crash in Sanpete County leaves one dead

One person is dead following a three vehicle crash in Sanpete County around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 28.
2 days ago
Tyre Nichols Protests...
Nouran Salahieh, Jamiel Lynch, Chuck Johnston, Shawn Nottingham, Andy Rose and Phil Gast, CNN

More protests today after release of video depicting the deadly police beating of Tyre Nichols

Protesters across the US heldmarches & rallies on Saturday, one day after the release of video showing the police beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis.
2 days ago
Gov. Spencer Cox covered a broad range of issues Thursday night at the State of the State Address. ...
Chandler Holt

Governor Spencer Cox signs transgender bill, releases statement

Gov. Spencer Cox released a statement on the transgender bill, that would ban transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for minors, on Saturday.
2 days ago
Temperatures dropping weather worsens...
Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologist

‘Dangerous’ arctic air returns this weekend after a month-long hiatus

What has been a mild start to 2023 will come to a halt this weekend as winter makes a roaring comeback across the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Utah may shift COVID-19 plan to focus on elderly, minority communities